'Huge rise' in financial help calls


a sign above a Citizens Advice Bureau

There has been a leap in the number of young people seeking help on financial matters from Citizens Advice, the charity said.

The number of clients aged 17 to 24 looking for assistance about such problems has risen by 53% since the start of the economic downturn, it said.

In the first two quarters of 2013 alone, just over 23,000 young people with a debt problem went to Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "We've seen a huge rise in the number of people needing our help since the start of the credit crunch.

"Soaring numbers need help keeping a roof over their head, whilst the number of young adults seeking advice on support to get into work has more than doubled."

Since the 2007/8 financial year, there has been a 114% increase in 17 to 24-year-olds looking for help with Jobseekers' Allowance, an 85% increase in those seeking advice on rent owed to a private landlord and a 56% increase in those needing assistance related to rent owed to housing associations.

She said that local, personalised support is what is needed to help struggling young people find work.

Ms Guy added: "The current and future generations of young people face the daunting task of working longer, shouldering the bulk of the burden for rising social care costs and ballooning pensioner spending, all in the face of high youth unemployment.

"Getting young people into work so they can contribute to the economic recovery must remain at the top of ministers' priorities."